MLB rumors, trades and free agency updates: Dodgers shopping Kemp, but likely to keep Puig
Here are Saturday's hot stove rumblings from around MLB
The 2018 Winter Meetings at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas are less than 48 hours away. The Winter Meetings are traditionally the busiest and most hectic four days of the offseason. There will be trades, free agent signings, and rumors. Lots and lots of rumors. We here at CBS Sports will have wall-to-wall Winter Meetings coverage.
Of course, this offseason has already been pretty busy. Robinson Cano and Paul Goldschmidt have been traded, among many others, and big name free agents Josh Donaldson, Patrick Corbin, and Nathan Eovaldi have signed. Last offseason was painfully slow. The pace has been much better so far this winter, thankfully.
Here is a roundup of Saturday's hot stove news and rumblings. Make sure you check back throughout the day for updates.
Dodgers shopping Kemp, not Puig
Yasiel Puig always gets mentioned in trade rumors. But Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes that it's no given the Dodgers will trade him this winter. Rather, the Dodgers figure to hold onto Puig because of the prospective return on a deal. Puig, Hernandez notes, would be open to playing for another team due to a diminished role.
The Dodgers will try trading Matt Kemp, however. Kemp started the season well, but his numbers cratered as the year beat on and he's owed more than $15 million by the Dodgers next season. It's unclear if Los Angeles will be able to find a taker -- one would think not, barring the inclusion of a prospect or significant cash.
Brewers likely to deal outfielder
The Brewers had a busy offseason last winter, adding both Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich to their outfield. It's perhaps no surprise, then, that the Brewers are likely to subtract from their outfield depth this winter -- likely in the form of moving either Keon Broxton or Domingo Santana, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Both are without options but come with drastically different skill sets: Broxton is a good defender whose lacking hit tool leaves him short of starter material; Santana can hit, and as for his defense … well, he can hit. Haudricourt also notes that Eric Thames could be had at the right cost.
A's have checked in on Gonzalez, Harvey
As part of their search for starting pitching, the Athletics have checked in on free agents Gio Gonzalez and Matt Harvey, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Gonzalez started his big league career with Oakland and pitched for them from 2008-11. . Here's more from Slusser:
"There are a number of starting pitching options out there both through free agency and trade conversations," A's general manager David Forst said on a conference call, noting that both markets tend to heat up at the winter meetings. "Obviously we haven't made any transactions yet, but not for a lack of conversations or activity."
At the moment the A's projected 2019 rotation includes Daniel Mengden, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt, Aaron Brooks, and Paul Blackburn. and starters Sean Manaea (shoulder), Andrew Triggs (thoracic outlet syndrome), Jharel Cotton (Tommy John), and Daniel Gossett (Tommy John) are all rehabbing from surgeries and non-options for Opening Day 2019. The A's could be looking to acquire as many as three or four starters this winter.
Mariners looking to add bullpen help
The Mariners have spent the offseason breaking down their roster, but, with the Winter Meetings right around the corner, GM Jerry Dipoto is looking to add pieces. Dipoto told MLB.com's Greg Johns his priority is adding bullpen help in the near future. From Johns:
"I can't say as we're completely done, but I think most of the heavy lifting is done," Dipoto said after completing the trades involving Cano, Diaz and Segura earlier this week. "We'll likely continue with conversation about the possibility of doing other things, but I suspect we'll be generally quiet until we get to the Winter Meetings and then focus on back-filling our needs, most especially in the bullpen."
Nine pitchers made at least 20 relief appearances for the Mariners this past season and only two, Chasen Bradford and Dan Altavilla, remain with the team. Signing relievers to low-cost, one-year contracts and flipping them for a prospect or two at the trade deadline has long been a rebuilding strategy. Veterans like John Axford, Tyler Clippard, Chris Hatcher, and Daniel Hudson could interest the Mariners as they look to add relief innings, though that is only my speculation.
'Four or five' teams in on Cahill
There are "four or five" teams in on free agent righty Trevor Cahill, reports Jon Heyman of Fancred. This past season Cahill, 30, threw 110 innings with a 3.76 ERA (110 ERA+) for the Athletics, who have interest in a reunion. Cahill's been able to increase his strikeout rate while maintaining his typically strong ground ball rate in recent years.
Cahill has worked on a series of one-year contracts the last few seasons and it seems likely he'll settle for another one-year deal this winter. His age, his ground ball tendencies, and his ability to both start and relieve figure to make him a popular target among teams looking for a low-cost rotation addition who can slot into the bullpen should someone better come along.
Reds not close to extension with Gennett
Zack Cozart during his All-Star 2017 season and lost him for no return as a free agent after the season. Surely they don't want to repeat the same mistake with Gennett.. Gennett can become a free agent next offseason and it stands to reason that, if the Reds can't lock him up long-term, Gennett could quickly become a trade candidate. Cincinnati did not trade
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